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Express Scripts – Cutting Jobs in PA, Investing in Overseas Call Centers

Multi-billion dollar corporation’s behavior in Trevose is an example of nationwide problem

Trevose, PA – On Wednesday, April 12th, nearly 100 workers joined Representatives Gene DiGirolamo and John Galloway, Senator Robert Tomlinson, Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo and community supporters in calling out Express Scripts on its plan to close its facility in Trevose.

“We are a great group of workers – we’ve always gone above and beyond,” said Gail Wharfe, who has been with the company for 11 years. “It’s devastating to us, to our families, and to this community. We’ve always given back and now we just don’t know if we’ll be able to.”

As people across Pennsylvania and the country demand more jobs for American families, multi-billion dollar Express Scripts  invests in overseas call centers while putting Pennsylvanians out of work. The pharmacy benefit management firm posted over $100 billion in revenue in 2016 and $3.4 billion in profit – an increase of 37% over 2015.

“I’m very angered by this announcement,” said Representative DiGirolamo of PA’s 18th District. “Express Scripts has been a source of good jobs for Pennsylvania and this announcement to put hardworking, dedicated men and women out of work while their overseas call centers keep going is an insult.”

“This community is my home, and always has been,” continued Senator Tomlinson. “As an elected leader and a local business owner, I know how vital good jobs are to this area. We have a qualified workforce right here, and these are the people Express Scripts should be investing in.”

Nearly 200 people would lose their jobs by the closure, which workers were told was “a business decision.” Over the last few years, employees were tasked with calling the company’s call centers in the Philliippenes to train them to handle customer service and eligibility research.

“It doesn’t take an MBA to see what’s really happening here. This is plain old greed,” said Brenda Blagus who has worked at the company for 16 years. “Why pay American workers a living wage when you can pay people in the Philippines next to nothing? Why play fair with the people who built your business when you can shatter their lives for a few more millions in your own paycheck? Why not? I’ll tell you why not. Because I’m not just a business decision.”

Express Scripts has built its enormous financial success and customer base, in part, by marketing itself as a worker and union-friendly business. Matt Kearney, President of the Delaware Valley Health Care Coalition, which is made up of health care consumers who are large users of Express Scripts’s services, was also at today’s event to speak out against the corporation’s announcement. Other customers are also reaching out to Express Scripts’s corporate offices directly to voice their opposition.

The group hopes to put pressure on the company to reverse their decision, and not become another case study of the growing epidemic of outsourcing and income inequality. In the 1970s, the top 1% of Americans earned just over 10% of all U.S. income. Today the top 1% take home more than 20% of all U.S. income: (source)

About 200 of the workers at Express Scripts are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

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